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Wage Theft

Unions NSW annually investigates job ads written in foreign languages

to assess the prevalance of wage theft and worker exploitation

In some sections of the workforce wage theft has become routine.
Swift and proactive steps need to be made to made to stamp out exploitation and wage theft, including the naming of businesses engaged in theft from their employees.

This site was created and is maintained by Unions NSW. Unions NSW represents over 600,000 union members and has been fighting for the rights of working people in Australia since 1871.

The Report

In some sections of the workforce underpayment of wages has become routine. Employers are unashamedly advertising below Award rates of pay for vacant positions.Unions NSW has produced a report, documenting the underpayment of workers from Spanish, Chinese and Korean speaking backgrounds working in Australia. An audit of job advertisements, found endemic underpayments with 78% of jobs advertised at rates of pay below the minimum Award rates.

Your Rights at Work

All workers have rights and protections at work, including an hourly minimum rate of pay. Your workplace conditions may be set out in an award, agreement or contract of employment. When you start a new job you should ask your boss which one applies to you and if you can see a copy. Awards are available through your union or at fwc.gov.au

If you think you are not getting paid what you should, contact Unions Australia on 1300 486 466 or australianunions.org.au. You can request to speak with a translator.

Minimum Rates of Pay

Minimum hourly rates are set out in Awards. You may be entitled to a higher hourly rate of pay depending on your industry, workplace or experience.

Hourly Rate of Pay

Hourly Rate of Pay

AgeCasualSunday CasualPublic Casual
18$16.16$22.63$32.33
1919.53$27.34$39.05
20$23.11$32.36
$46.23
21+$23.66$33.13$47.33

What’s Not Okay

  • Not receiving a payslip every time you get paid
  • Being paid in goods and services instead of money (for example, food)
  • Unpaid trials are against the law. You must be paid for work you do
  • Being sacked because you were sick or injured
  • Having money deducted from your wages without your permission (not including tax)

Download Your Rights at Work Fact Sheets:

Chinese

English

Korean

Spanish